Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez has revealed that she was once rejected for a job as a flight attendant because of her weight.
The 53-year-old journalist and helicopter pilot recalled that she aspired to become a flight attendant when she was 18 but lost out on a position at Southwest Airlines in 1989 after failing a mandatory weigh-in, Fox News reported.
“Back then, they weighed you, and I weighed 121 pounds (54kg),” the Emmy Award winner remembered during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“They said, ‘You need to be 115 (52kg).’”
Sanchez told the outlet that she would have responded differently if that situation were to occur now.
The media personality said she would tell the airline, “I don’t want to be a stewardess. I want to be the pilot!”
Until the 1990s, many airlines had strict height and weight requirements for flight attendants and mandatory weigh-ins.
According to Southwest Airlines’ career page, flight attendant applicants’ “weight must be of such proportion to height that a neat appearance is maintained and the physical ability to perform all job functions is not hindered”.
In addition, jobseekers “must be able to lift items up to 50 pounds (20kg) from floor to shoulder level as required”.
A representative for Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Sanchez went on to become a reporter and anchor at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona, US, and later worked at Fox Sports Net, Los Angeles’ Fox 11 and Extra.
The New Mexico native, whose parents were both pilots, earned her helicopter pilot license in 2016. She later launched Black Ops Aviation, a female-owned aerial film and production company. Sánchez said she makes an effort to fly at least three times a week to stay up to date and frequently gets in the cockpit to fly Bezos, 59, and their families around the world.
“I don’t know why more women don’t do it,” she told the WSJ.
The former View host explained that she founded Black Ops Aviation when she noted the lack of other female-owned aviation companies.
“Less than nine per cent of pilots are women,” she said. “That’s it! Of that percentage, even less are helicopter pilots. How many women pilots do you see in every movie? What do you see? You see male pilots. And so [women] don’t realise that they can do it.”
Sánchez said other women are surprised and impressed when they learn she is a pilot.
“They’re shocked!” she said. “They’re like, ‘What? You’re such a badass!’ And I want to say it’s really not that hard. I do want more women to get involved in it.”
Sánchez told the WSJ that she is very excited about her plans to lead an all-female mission to outer space on Blue Origin, which will take place by 2024.
“It’s going to be women who are making a difference in the world and who are impactful and have a message to send,” she said.
Five women will join Sánchez on the mission, but their names won’t be announced until closer to the launch date.
Though Sánchez said Bezos is getting his pilot’s license, she said that the Amazon founder would not be joining her on the mission.
“As much as he wants to go on this flight, I’m going to have to hold him back,” Sánchez said. “He’ll be cheering us all on from the sidelines.”
Sánchez and Bezos went public with their relationship in 2019 while both were divorcing their former spouses, Patrick Whitesell and MacKenzie Scott.
The former broadcaster said working with Bezos on the Blue Origin mission and other projects is the “greatest experience I’ve ever had”.
“I’ve always had a career very separate from my partner,” she said. “I think now that I can work with my partner, and be with him all the time. We love to be together and we love to work together.”
This story originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission
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